Alarming Events

Completely uninterested in the work at hand, it took a lot to summon up any motivation to even skim through my growing list of assignments soon to be due. After procrastinating for as long as my workaholic disposition would allow, I finally settled in before the glow of the computer screen and began plunking down words. Getting into a groove, it seemed as though my trepidation was for nothing, as the sentences began to flow freely in no time and I was working up a steam, moving towards completion at the speed of lightning. All was looking good… When suddenly a shrill buzzing noise pierced through my concentration, shattering any thought process that might have been useful to writing a comprehensive article. Shaken right down to my toes, I hurried over and opened the door, only to discover that the rude buzzing became louder than the sound of a jet engine cranking at full speed. Seeing other residents rushing out of their rooms and toward the stairwell, it finally clicked that perhaps this was indeed the fire alarm going off, and maybe, just maybe, I should exit the building before I actually saw flames.

Of course, having gone through the mandatory fire drills every month throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I felt no need for real alarm… Until I passed by the second floor on my way out. Thick, grey smoke filled the air and the smell of burning timber permeated through every pore. Moving a little bit faster now, I reached the green courtyard outside to discover that the firemen had already arrived.

Standing tall with his hose at the ready, this strong, brave fireman rushed ahead of the crowd and into the building. Watching his yellow uniform disappear into the smog within, it was then that it hit me; This could be for real. What would happen to my computer, forget about the document still open on the screen? What about my camera? What about my yarn?? Thoroughly immersed within my own panic, only snippets of conversation from the girls around me filtered through: “…happened three times in three days last year…”, “…burnt onions…”, “…oversensitive smoke detectors…”

Regaining some degree of composure, I assured myself that this sort of thing must happen all the time in college dorms, especially when there are 3 kitchens on every floor. Forcing those panicked thoughts down into the pit of my stomach, I waited impatiently for the fearless fire fighter to emerge once more and tell us about the damage.

Exiting the doors with a mischievous smirk on his face, I couldn’t help but be puzzled by what he might find so amusing in all of this. Many girls rushed up and asked him to give it us straight: What was destroyed? Which floor got it worst? But above all, what caused this potential tragedy?

…Turns out that someone just reheated some leftover pizza for a little too long and took it into the “extra crispy” stage, finishing with a nice black exterior and plenty of smoke.

12 thoughts on “Alarming Events

  1. hahaha, yeah people in my dorm last year definitely did not know how to use the microwave (hence the reason why one out of the two didn’t work at all – and possibly why there weren’t any other applicances in the “kitchen”).

    of course, the majority of the time that our dorm-house had to be evacuated (and there were many middle-of-the-night, WINTER WEATHER times!!), people were burning incense or smoking. idiots. oh, college dorm life :0)

  2. That’s hilarious, but more than that, I really like the way you took something so simple and pathetic and turned it into a great write. I would love to be able to write like you. :) :)


  3. Hmm… maybe this is why we weren’t allowed to have microwaves in our dorms… or maybe it was the power overloads from all the curling irons, hair dryers and microwaves in the mornings… If I’d been smart I would have kept up my crocheting during that time instead of setting it aside because it just wasn’t fashionable or cool… ah well. I’m making up for lost time now! LOL! :D

  4. My first REAL scare in college was a bag of popcorn someone left in for 20 minutes, at 2am. Our firefighters weren’t so cute though… Glad everything is OK.

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